British Columbia

Prince George massage therapist faces another sexual misconduct investigation

In just two weeks last month, three registered massage therapists in B.C. had their practice restricted because of allegations of inappropriate or sexual behaviour with female patients.

Trevor Scott is 1 of 3 B.C. RMTs subject to 'extraordinary action' by their college in April

The College of Massage Therapists of B.C. took 'extraordinary action' against three practitioners during two weeks in April. (Robert Short/CBC)

In just two weeks last month, three registered massage therapists in B.C. had their practice restricted because of allegations of inappropriate or sexual behaviour with female patients.

That includes a Prince George RMT who has previously been accused of sexual misconduct.

Trevor Scott was cleared in that earlier case, but he's now under investigation once again after a patient complained he "engaged in conduct of a sexual nature while providing massage therapy to her," according to an April 17 public notification from the College of Massage Therapists of B.C.

While that investigation is underway, Scott must have a chaperone present during all appointments with female patients. The chaperone must be approved by the college, and patients must consent to having them in the room.

Leonard Krekic of Penticton is now operating under similar limits after a complaint to the college alleging he committed sexual misconduct by "engaging in non-therapeutic touching of sensitive areas of the patient's body, inappropriate contact of Mr. Krekic's body with the patient, and exposure of sensitive areas of the patient's body," according to a notice on April 5.

And an April 18 notice says Dennis Desrochers of Enderby has been told he cannot treat the upper chest area of female patients, after two clients complained he'd exposed their upper bodies to the waist without giving them options to drape their chests.

Taking 'extraordinary action'

In all three cases, the college says it has taken "extraordinary action" to protect the public while investigations are underway. None of the allegations have been proven, and none of the RMTs have responded to requests for comment.

"The college takes extraordinary action whenever it receives a complaint that justifies such action," college registrar Eric Wredenhagen told CBC in an email.

To make that determination, he said the college follows the legal principles set out in a 2016 judgment from the B.C. Court of Appeal — a decision that just happens to concern Trevor Scott.

Prince George massage therapist Trevor Scott is facing a second complaint alleging sexual misconduct. (Synergy Health and Wellness)

After a patient accused Scott of masturbating during a 2014 massage, the college determined he "may pose a real risk to the public safety that necessitates extraordinary action," according to the judgment. Then, as now, Scott was told he must have a chaperone in the room during appointments with female patients.

But Scott challenged the limits on his practice in a case that went all the way to B.C.'s highest court, which found the college had the authority to impose interim conditions when someone has raised a complaint worth investigating and "where, based on the material before the inquiry committee, the public requires immediate protection."

The college eventually dismissed the complaint against Scott. Members of a disciplinary panel said they couldn't conclusively determine whether he or the patient were giving an accurate version of events.

Scott has remained a member of the college in good standing since then.

The college was not able to give an estimate for how long the investigations into Scott, Krekic and Desrochers will take.

Another RMT complaint

Earlier this year, former Burnaby RMT Steven Anderson's licence was suspended after the college received multiple complaints alleging sexual misconduct and inappropriate touching.

Two female patients had alleged that Anderson engaged in "non-therapeutic touching of a sensitive area of a patient's body." Another complaint alleged that Anderson had inserted his finger into the anus of male patient.

Anderson's registration was not renewed for 2019 and was automatically cancelled on Feb. 1. The allegations against him have not been proven.

About the Author

Bethany Lindsay

Journalist

Bethany Lindsay has more than a decade of experience in B.C. journalism, with a focus on the courts, health and social justice issues. She has also reported on human rights and crimes against humanity in Cambodia. Questions or news tips? Get in touch at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.